Demographic Analysis (DA) is a method used to evaluate the quality of the census. We use current and historical vital records, data on international migration, and Medicare records to produce national estimates of the population on April 1 by age, sex, the DA race categories, and Hispanic origin. The DA population estimates are independent of the decennial census. The results are used to produce estimates of net coverage error, which are calculated as the percent difference between the census counts and the DA population estimates.
Traditionally, the DA estimates have been produced by sex and single year of age for the race categories Black and non-Black. Starting in 2010, the DA program produces estimates by Hispanic origin (Hispanic/Non-Hispanic) for a limited number of ages. New data sources, changes in the racial and ethnic make-up of the nation, and evolving patterns of international migration present both challenges and opportunities for DA.
On March 10, 2022, the Demographic Analysis (DA) net coverage error estimates by age and sex for the 2020 Census were released at a news conference. This release included DA net coverage error estimates by sex and 1) single year of age, 2) 5-year age groups and sex, and 3) the selected age groups used by the Post-Enumeration Survey. We released a range of net coverage error estimates—Low, Middle, High—to account for uncertainty in the data and methods used to produce the DA population estimates.
Net coverage error is calculated as the percent difference between the census count and the DA estimate:
Net Coverage Error = 100 x [(Census Count - DA Estimate)/DA Estimate]
On December 15, 2020, the DA estimates for April 1, 2020 were released at a news conference. This release included the three official sets of DA estimates for the Black Alone/Non-Black Alone, Black Alone or in Combination/Non-Black Alone or in Combination, and Hispanic/Non-Hispanic populations by single year of age and sex. A range of estimates—Low, Middle, High—was produced for each set to account for uncertainty.
Background materials, such as presentations and articles on DA developed by demographers external and internal to the Census Bureau, are also available at the link below.